RIM gets support for over-air synchronisation

Extended Systems has announced that its XTNDConnect Server software, which runs on Palm, Pocket PC and Symbian operating systems,...

Extended Systems has announced that its XTNDConnect Server software, which runs on Palm, Pocket PC and Symbian operating systems, will be extended to carry out similar wireless and cradle-based synchronisation for the Research in Motion (RIM) platform.

Cross-platform synchronisation will allow corporate IT organisations to deploy different handhelds within a company to different workgroups depending on each group's particular needs, according to Don Baumgartner, vice-president of worldwide marketing wireless company, Boise.

"As an enterprise you don't want to tie yourself into one particular product. A large group may need heavy-duty applications, and you might outfit them with a more expensive CE device. But if another group just needs PIM [personal information manager] functionality, you might roll out a low-cost Palm device, and still only one synchronisation and management application need be deployed," Baumgarten said.

Baumgarten added that all of the devices have particular strengths and weaknesses.

"With Palm its PIM applications are really good. From an application development standpoint you have to look at CE as a leader because Microsoft provides a lot of development tools. Symbian has better wireless integrated capabilities," Baumgartner said.

In June, the XTNDConnect Server will allow RIM users to synchronise corporate applications plus calendar, e-mail, and tasks using the cradle at the desktop. Wireless synchronisation capability will be added in the autumn.

Over-air synchronisation is fast becoming one of the architectural tools required by handheld users, according to one industry analyst.

"Most people synch once a day. In order to make mobile devices more valuable and timely you have to increase that. In a wireless environment you have to have pervasive connectivity," said Tim Scannell, president and founder of Shoreline Research.

Pricing for the RIM server software is $95 (£67) per seat at the 1,000 or more seat level.

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